Earth Charter — “Local youth begin fight against climate change”

Erin Blasko, “Local youth begin fight against climate change,” Notre Dame News, February 26, 2018

Dozens of local youth will be on hand for a screening of “Little Warriors,” a documentary chronicling the youth-led push for local climate legislation in Indianapolis, at 6 p.m. Tuesday (Feb. 27) at the University of Notre Dame’s Eck Visitors Center.

A discussion with Jim Poyser, executive director of Earth Charter Indiana; Therese Dorau, director of sustainability for the city of South Bend; and South Bend Common Council member Jo Broden will follow the screening.

Initiated by students in Philip Sakimoto and Laura Dassow Walls’ sustainability class, the event is meant to energize local youth to organize for a resolution or ordinance to reduce carbon emissions and lessen the impact of climate change here.

Sakimoto is director of the Program in Academic Excellence, part of the First Year of Studies Program at Notre Dame. Dassow Walls is the William P. and Hazel B. White Professor of English at Notre Dame.

“This event is very timely in that it comes on the heels of unfortunate floods that are plaguing South Bend,” said Sakimoto. “Catastrophic floods are to be expected in a warming climate, as warmer air holds more moisture than does cooler air.”

The screening is sponsored by the Hesburgh Program in Public Service, the Environmental Change Initiative, the First Year of Studies Program, the Minor in SustainabilityNative American Initiatives, the Robinson Community Learning Center, the Shaw Center for Children and FamiliesND Energy and the William P. and Hazel B. White Fund.

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“We decided to start this leadership summit because we didn’t feel like the climate conversation was happening enough,” Poyser said. “In Indiana there is not a lot of conversation publicly about climate change, and we feel like it is an urgent, essential issue to begin talking about.”